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#323 Kingdom: Escaping the Welfare Mentality

The Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation

`One of the greatest fears that should come upon the ministries in the next restoration is that they would do something to cause the church to suffer loss either now or in eternity. Our burden, from the very beginning, has been to see the church come to Bible perfection. For every ministry, the personal cross is essential to discipline themselves to present the church perfect, mature and complete before God.

Col 1:24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body (which is the church) in filling up that which is lacking in Christ’s afflictions. [25] Of this church I was made a minister according to the stewardship from God bestowed on me for your benefit, that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God, [26] that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations; but has now been manifested to His saints, [27] to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. [28] And we proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, that we may present every man complete in Christ. [29] And for this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.

Over the years we have witnessed many “ministers” who have done irreparable damage to the church and even have caused some to suffer eternal loss. This burden that Paul had to minister the mysteries of Christ to the church and to present every man perfect in Christ is seldom seen today. Personal ambition and personal gain has eroded the message of the Kingdom and clouded over the revelation of the mysteries. Even though the “church of our expectations” does not come to “perfection in Christ” in our generation, each of us must do everything we can not to hinder the growth of the church or cause eternal loss. We could point out many messages and actions that have hurt the church but that is not necessary for this study.

The emphases in these last studies has been to determine if what we have been doing has been out of Christ or out of ourselves. Has what we are presently doing been severely dealt with by the personal cross? Rather is it personal ambition? Is what we are presently doing out of our natural life or out of the resurrection Life of Christ? Is the “word” we are preaching just “another word” or is it a word for washing and perfecting the church?

Unless God is first and foremost in all things, the work of man is entirely worthless.

John 15:5] “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing.

This is one of the most profound statements for the next restoration of the priesthood function in the Holy Place Life and ministry. The Outer Court zeal of the past must be dealt with by the cross until whatever we do is confirmed as the will and purpose of God for today!

My guess is that it has been the selfish and self-centered ministries that have damaged the church until it has turned from sacrifice to a welfare mentality. What can “I” get out of it for my own selfish benefit has turned the “basic believer” into a “humanistic Christian” with a welfare mentality. I have heard an excess of “humanistic prophesies” promising great riches to all who are willing to receive the abundance of blessing from God. The “get ready for the blessing of riches are coming” and you will be the financial head and not the tail and you will loan but not borrow prophesies have not perfected the church. Just sit and wait and the blessing will fall on you type of welfare mentality has flooded the church for the last 30 years.

I am speculating that this “message” is way out of step with the reality of the Gospel of the Kingdom. It is “messages” like this that has promoted the thought that the church is out of step with reality. This may be true of the visible church that the world and secular society considers as irrelevant today but this cannot be true of the church He is building.

Paul was very certain that the church of his expectations would be fluent in the mysteries of Christ and the wisdom from above that had been hidden from all past generations. His confidence was that these mysteries would be made known through the church.

Over the last few years I have lost my faith in man being able to fulfill the purpose of God or even understanding there IS a purpose. Now I know that until we have absolute confidence and faith in God and His ability to work in us that there can be little hope that the church will ever come to perfection. It is finally God’s ability to change man from the inside out that we may put any hope or any confidence in the glorious church coming to the purpose of God.

Therefore, those that maintain a welfare mentality and just want to receive the blessings of God but resist any character or attitude change will eliminate themselves from the next restoration. Then is there ANY answer for this generation of spoiled church brats?

EPH 1:15 For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you, and your love for all the saints, [16] do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers; [17] that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. [18] I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, [19] and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might [20] which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, [21] far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one to come. [22] And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, [23] which is His body, the fulness of Him who fills all in all.

Since this Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation is just ONE of the Seven Spirits of God in the Holy Place and on the Lampstand Church it is obvious that Paul is praying for the provision of the age yet to come for the church at Ephesus. In other words it is obvious that the Church at Ephesus was not yet in this Holy Place dimension of the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation but Paul felt confident enough to pray to the Father of Glory that the blessing of the next dimension would come now to the church at Ephesus.

The Church at Ephesus did not lack ANY power but did lack the “knowledge” of the power that was available to them and , therefore, they were living below the plan of God for them. If we considered this situation in the church today we would just call for an “apostle” to come lay hands on the church and impart the power by a prophetic word. Of course IF they received ANYTHING they still wouldn’t have the wisdom to use it. When the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation gives understanding of the tremendous power that has been made available to the church, He also gives the revelation and understanding to use the power for the Glory of the Father of Glory. This would be a deterrent to the “ greatness of the Power” to be misused and damage the church of God.

I am speculating that ALL this revelation of the Seven Spirits of God is available to the Lampstand Church. However, the “atmosphere” in the Holy Place will make the “priesthood ministry” fearful of misusing ANY of the Wisdom, Revelation or Understanding so that it harms the church in preparation. The “priesthood ministry” will be extremely fearful of using any of these things for personal benefit or personal gratification or for selfish reasons like personal ambition.

Therefore, let us examine what Paul was praying for that would have been helpful to the Church at Ephesus come to perfection. First we want to see a little difference between his first prayer and his second prayer. The First Prayer was “basic” and the Second Prayer is for edification or building up. However, the First Prayer doesn’t seem to be “basic” but very profound. Why? Because of our extremely low expectation for the church!

Eph 3: 8] To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, [9] and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God, who created all things; [10] in order that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. [11] This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, [12] in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him.

Eph 3:14 For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father, [15] from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, [16] that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man; [17] so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, [18] may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, [19] and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fulness of God.

The Purpose of the prayer is that “you may be filled up to all the fulness of God.” The purpose of the first prayer is that they might know [ by experience] what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might [20] which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead. In other words the Resurrection Power of God!

Each sentence in each of these prayers require an explanation if we will understand the results that Paul expected. The Book of Ephesians begins with God’s Eternal Purpose and what He had planed before the foundation of the world. Now if we activate the natural mind we would say this is beyond the capacity of man to know so let us dismiss this whole book as conjecture. All this “higher criticism” of the scripture by the natural mind is what has led to the low expectation of the normal believer. They doubt the clear teaching of the Word of God because it is not approached as a book of revelation but as a history book to be understood with the natural mind.

However, Paul immediately sets us on a different path of understanding. He surely understood how he was enlightened of these things and was praying that God would enlighten the church at Ephesus by the supernatural revelation of the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation in the Knowledge of Him. I capitalized “Knowledge” to indicate that what Paul was anticipating was NOT just common knowledge, gnosis. He was praying for the “Full Knowledge” or Epignosis. This word is used as a more intense form of knowledge as the exact or full knowledge. It indicates a greater participation by the believer in the knowledge or as experiential knowledge. A clarity of knowledge. Paul uses this word 16 times in his writings and each time it indicates something beyond a general knowledge. The context shows us this “Knowledge” [epignosis] is by revelation and is given by the Spirit. Epignosis indicates that we may know something or someone like God only through the intervention by God by way of revelation. In fact most of the times Paul uses this word is in knowing the mysteries, knowing God or knowing Christ or knowing the will of God. Something beyond a general knowledge that is available to the natural mind.

Therefore, because the only way we can come to this greater, fuller, more accurate Knowledge of God is by revelation, Paul is praying that God would grant them the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation.

My theory is that in the next restoration most everything will come to us by revelation! This is because the total ministry of the Seven Spirits of God which IS the illumination of the Holy Place ministry, will be available to the Priesthood Ministries. These Seven Spirits of God are the Seven Flames of Fire and are also the Seven Eyes of the Lord. In other words there is NOTHING that we will need to know that cannot be revealed by the revelation of the Spirit. Understanding eternal things or understanding the mysteries or receiving the Wisdom of God will be normal under this total illumination.

When we know for certain that Paul was caught up to the Third Heaven and saw into that realm, we won’t need to question how he knew these things. Still, the natural man with his natural mind will never be able to reconcile how God can give “revelation” and these things will certainly remain as foolishness to the natural mind. The renewed mind IS essential to understand spiritual things.

Nevertheless, Paul not only understood many of these mysteries but was confident that the whole church at Ephesus could also know these things. Therefore, he prayed! If we can grasp this concept of “Supernatural Knowledge” we should understand that most everything that Paul prayed was in this dimension of revelation. The natural mind will not help us in comprehending these things. All the things in these prayers are from the next dimension and maybe from the next age within this church age. [the age yet to come]